USTR Adds More Chinese E-Commerce Sites to ‘Notorious Markets’ List; Beijing Rejects ‘Irresponsible’ Report

China+Piracy w/ QR Code in Background (“Notorious Markets” Concept re Annual USTR Report)

Trade Update • FEBRUARY 23, 2021

Chinese e-commerce platforms AliExpress and the “WeChat e-commerce ecosystem” have been added to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s annual “notorious markets” list.

The 2021 report released last week, examines the adverse impact of counterfeiting on workers involved with the manufacture of counterfeit goods, along with the coordinated effort required to combat such operations around the world.

“The global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods undermines critical U.S. innovation and creativity and harms American workers,” USTR Katherine Tai said in a statement.

“This illicit trade also increases the vulnerability of workers involved in the manufacturing of counterfeit goods to exploitative labor practices, and the counterfeit goods can pose significant risks to the health and safety of consumers and workers around the world.”

The report identifies 42 online and physical markets that reportedly engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy, six of which are Chinese including AliExpress, Baidu Wangpan, DHGate, PinDuoDuo, Taobao, and WeChat (Weixin).

China’s Reaction

“China does not recognise the conclusion of the report and we sternly oppose the irresponsible actions by the US,” the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing said in response.

The report used ambiguous terms such as “allegedly” or “reportedly” to describe relevant Chinese companies, according to the MOC, noting that there is neither conclusive evidence nor sufficient proof.

It was “regrettable” that U.S. administrations frequently use the so-called Notorious Market Report to accuse other countries but never mentioned its own problems in this regard, a ministry spokesperson said, accusing the U.S. of double standards as there are also widespread counterfeiting and piracy activities within its borders.


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